BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS: On his test at Sonoma: "The test at Sonoma went very well. I was actually very proud of the way everything went there. We took the same car that we had a chance to...
BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS:
On his test at Sonoma:
"The test at Sonoma went very well. I was actually very proud of the way everything went there. We took the same car that we had a chance to win with in Mexico City, the Busch Series car. We fooled around a little bit with some carburetor stuff and hit on some chassis things. We unloaded and we were running a minute seventeen, sixteen. By the time we were done we were running sixteen forty so we were very proud of that."
On the first time he raced at this track. How tough was it then and what do you think of it now?
"It's not that bad of a track to try to get used to. It's a pretty simple place. You have three different distinct straightaways and three different distinct corners. The first time I was here was in an ARCA car and it was very fun. I enjoyed it a lot. We were able to shift it. That was probably the most fun about this place. It's an oval where you're shifting it so it was pretty neat. To be able to come back now, it's a little bit different because you're not able to shift and it's not as much fun. You're pretty low off the corners and you're kind of waiting for the motor to catch up. It's a place where you definitely have to keep momentum going somewhat similar to what a Busch car is anywhere else."
On the equipment he receives from Hendrick Motorsports in relation to the amount of talented drivers they have:
"This year has been the biggest year we've been able to share everything and do what we wanted to do. The crew chiefs are working awesome together. The drivers are working pretty good together in being able to share everything. We're starting a new trend this weekend. Everybody is going to try to get together after practice and talk about things and make sure that everybody is on the same exact page instead of just having the interiors running back and forth grabbing notes here and there. We're going to be able to sit down and discus stuff. We've been really trying to work together and make it a whole organization and a company that we can make changes to and anybody that has a suggestions so we can make it better."
On the possibility of Casey Mears moving to the 25 car:
"It wouldn't bother me. Anybody that comes along that wants to be a part of Hendrick Motorsports, I'm more than happy to bring them into the table. It'd be a great opportunity for him to showcase his talents with Hendrick Motorsports. I've got no problems with Casey Mears. I don't even really know Casey Mears so it'd be a great opportunity for us to really get to know each other and sit down and discuss things and have the past behind us."
Will it really help to share information with the other drivers?
"I think so. Not necessarily for myself but everybody will be able to gain from it, being able to discuss things about the car, what works and what didn't work. It will be more thrown out there instead of the interiors running back and forth."
On doing the Cup and Busch races this weekend in different locations:
"It's going to be a challenge but I'm optimistic about it. I'm very confident in Hendrick Motorsports' aviation department that they've got everything all worked out so we're able to do everything right without any scuffles. It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to it. We're going to be here all day today and practice all day tomorrow. As soon as happy hour is over we'll jump on a plane and get down to Nashville and try to qualify and race the Busch car. Weather is probably the biggest issue here over the next couple of weeks. As long as it cooperates we'll be good in time for it to work out fine."
How do you look forward to those weekends compared to a regular race weekend?
"It's not anything different than anything else. I'll be able to sleep on the plane hopefully and get a little bit of rest that way. Otherwise as far as having to travel back and forth, it's not really a big deal."
Is the Chase on your mind this early?
"It was on our mind in Daytona. You want to be able to come out of Daytona strong and go into California and Vegas strong. It's definitely a lot easier to start the season off stronger than it is trying to catch back up later. We tried that last year. It didn't work for us. We got ourselves in a predicament that we couldn't dig ourselves out of. This year we're in the top 10 right now. We just need to keep ourselves going that way and keep going strong. Last week we had a great top five which kind of brought us back to where we need to be. If we could keep going with those and some of the guys in front of us have a little bit of back luck, I don't wish it upon them, but if they do then we can try to pick up some more ground."
What do you like about Hendrick Motorsports?
"The depth of the organization that we have and all the people. Everybody that is involved is very well into Hendrick Motorsports and making it a successful place to work and easy environment to work in as well as making it a successful one."
On the turns at Pocono:
"Turn two is such a fast, 90-degree corner. It's almost worse than Indy corners. It's a weird corner to have to get into especially when the bump started to develop in there a couple of years ago. I know they laid down some asphalt and smoothed that out but I don't think it ever really fixed itself. It's the tunnel turn. You're always going to have bumps over a tunnel. All in all it's something that's a part of this place and you have to deal with it."
How did you find out about the news on Brian Vickers?
"I found out on Jayski."
Where you shocked?
"It was there earlier this year and I never really questioned Brian about it or anything like that. I know there are a lot of rumors that float around so I never really questioned it. This time it came up on there and I saw it. Later on that day Marshall called me and told me that it was fact."
On the season to date:
"It's been tough. There's been definitely some areas where I need to work on things as well as to try and turn situations around in a different way and get a different view point of it. For myself it's been a good season overall. I'm happy with our performance. I think that the Kellogg's/Carquest team has done a great job for me. All my guys have really worked hard and dug in deep and they've given me great race cars. That's all I could really ask for. Everything else is on my own."
On the expectations of him:
"I put a lot bigger expectations on myself than anybody else probably. I wish last year we were in this spot, 10th place, when we had a shot at getting in the Chase but we weren't. It's kind of a shame on my part as far as not being in it. But here we are. We have an opportunity to do well and get into the Chase and try to go out for the championship. It's all about coming down to Richmond where you are in or you are out. Hopefully we have the opportunity to be in it and go after it."
Has your brother Kurt helped you out at all?
"Kurt has helped me out a lot. I've definitely gotten some great advice from him. I've definitely gotten some great advice from Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson as well as Brian Vickers. I'm all around the board. I've been able to talk to a few people and get some good advice."